Schools throughout the state were caught up in a hoax

Schools throughout the state were caught up in a hoax on Wednesday in which phone calls claimed there were active shooters inside the schools. Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Jennifer Morrison said the calls came in between 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Wednesday, indicating there were 21 active shooter situations at Vermont schools. None of the threats were real. The caller was soft-spoken, with an accent, and was talking very fast.  The caller said that a subject had brought a gun into the school and shot people. The dispatcher said he tried to ask questions, but the caller disconnected. Schools identified in the hoax were Newport City Elementary School, North Country Union High School in Newport, North Country Union Junior High School in Derby, United Christian Academy in Newport, and East Burke School. According to state police, the calls originated from Voice Over Internet  phone numbers or potentially spoofed 802 numbers and appear to be associated with ongoing nationwide hoax phone threats of school shootings, bomb threats, and other violent events that have proved to be unfounded. Bomb threats to Walmart stores in New Hampshire and Vermont were also reported on Wednesday. They too were found to be hoaxes.  Gov. Scott praised the response of law enforcement and emergency services.